Saturday, May 25, 2019

1031. Block - Linda Pastan

I place one word slowly
in front of the other.,
like learning to walk again
after an illness.
But the blank page
with its hospital corners
tempts me.
I want to lie down
in its whiteness
and let myself drift
all the way back

to silence.

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

1030. EXERCISE - W. S. Merwin

First forget what time it is
for an hour
do it regularly every day

then forget what day of the week it is
do this regularly for a week
then forget what country you are in
and practice doing it in company
for a week
then do them together
for a week
with a few breaks as possible

follow these by forgetting how to add
or to subtract
it makes no difference 
you can change them around
after a week
both will help you later
to forget how to count

forget how to count
starting with your own age
starting with how to count backward
starting with even numbers
starting with Roman numerals
starting with fractions of Roman numerals
starting with the old calendar
going on to the old alphabet
going on to the alphabet
until everything is continuous again

go on to forgetting elements
starting with water
proceeding to earth
rising in fire  

forget fire

Friday, March 08, 2019

1029. Swift Things Are Beautiful - Elizabeth Coatsworth

Swift things are beautiful:
Swallows and deer,
And lightning that falls
Bright-veined and clear,
Rivers and meteors,
Wind in the wheat,
The strong-withered horse,
And runner’s sure feet.

And slow things are beautiful:
The closing of day,
The pause of the wave
That curves downward to spray,
The ember that crumbles,
The opening flower,
And the ox that moves on

In the quiet of power.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

1028. For The Traveler - John O'Donohue

Every time you leave home,
another road takes you
into a world you were never in.
New strangers on other paths await.
new places that have never seen you
will startle a little at your entry.
Old places that you know well
will pretend nothing
changed since your last visit.
When you travel, you find yourself
alone in a different way,
more attentive now
to the self you bring along,
Your more subtle eye watching
you abroad; and how what meets you
touches that part of the heart
that lies low at home:
How you unexpectedly attune
to the timbre in some voice,
opening a conversation
you want to take in
to where your longing
has pressed hard enough
inward, on some unsaid dark,
to create a crystal of insight
you could not have known
you needed 
to illuminate 
your way.
When you travel,
a new silence
goes with you,
and if you listen,
you will hear
what your heart would
love to say.
A journey can become a sacred thing:
make sure, before you go,
to take the time
to bless your going forth,
to free your heart of ballast
so that the compass of your soul
might direct you toward
the territories of spirit
where you will discover
more of your hidden life,
and the urgencies
that deserve to claim you.
May you travel 
in an awakened way,
gathered wisely 
into your inner ground; 
that you may not waste 
the invitations which 
wait along the way 
to transform you.
May you travel safely, 
arrive refreshed, 
and live your time away 
to its fullest; 
return home more enriched, 
and free to balance 
the gift of days 
which call you. 

From: To Bless the Space Between Us

Thursday, October 25, 2018

1027. Song For The First People - David Wagoner

When you learned that men were coming, you changed into rocks.
Into fish and birds, into flowers and rivers in despair of us.
The tree under which I bend may be you,
That stone by the fire, the nighthawk swooping
And crying out over the swamp reeds, the reeds themselves.
Have I held you too lightly all my mornings?
I have broken your silence, dipped you up
Carelessly in by hands and drunk you, burnt you,
Carved you, slit your calm throat and danced on your skin,
Made charms of your bones. You have endured
All of it, suffering my foolishness
As the old wait quietly among clumsy children.
Now others are coming, neither like you nor like men.
I must change, First People. How do I change myself?
If no one can teach me the long will of the cedar,
Let me become Water Dog, Bitteroot, or Shut Beak.
Change me. Forgive me. I will learn to crawl, stand, or fly

Anyshere among you, forever, as though among great elders.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

1026. Photograph - Cynthia Rylant

From: Something Permanent 
Photo by Walker Evans

He washed his feet for the picture,
even his knees,
and wondered about that man
who cared enough to want him to sit there
for a photograph
even though he didn’t have
nothing good to hold in his hands,
nor even a dog to sit by his chair.
It gave him, briefly,
some sort of feeling
of just being

Saturday, July 14, 2018

1025. The Old Poets of China - Mary Oliver

Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe
that I do not want it. Now I understand
why the old poets of China went so far and high

into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.